At the latest meeting of the European Tomato Group, which brings together Spanish, Italian and French producers, European growers expressed their unease with the massive entry of tomatoes from Morocco.
According to the latest data published by the Prices and Markets Observatory of the Andalusian Council of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, up until the penultimate week of April, Morocco had already exported to European markets slightly more than 95% of the 285,000 tons authorized by the Commission.
For Spanish, Italian and French producers and agricultural companies, this increase in Moroccan tomato exports is directly linked to the drop in tomato prices in Europe. It also calls into question the compliance with the principle of community preference, a rule with which the European Union aimed to protect its own productions against those of third countries.
Complaints from EU producers also focus on the poor control on the arrival of third country tomatoes on Central European markets, including Turkish ones.
For all these reasons, the European tomato group has announced its decision to ask the European Commission for a review of the conditions for tomato access to markets in the Euro area. They believe that this would help stop the debacle in European tomato prices, since those of the Moroccan production are very low due to their lower production costs.